Eggs, bacon, pork chops, drop biscuits, grits and cream gravy. This was the breakfast that Lula Hulsey “Granny” Armstrong would serve when we visited the family farm near Cartersville, Georgia, every summer.
City kid from Texas visits Georgia farm
Growing up, I always looked forward to visiting my paternal grandparents. Their farm was a fun and exciting place for this city kid from Texas. There were horses to ride, icy-cold creeks to swim in, eggs to gather, kittens to play with, pigs to feed and a field of tall corn to run through to get to my cousin’s house.
Best of all—there was Granny’s cooking. Each and every flavorful bite of each and every meal was made from scratch—with fresh ingredients from the farm. The spicy chow chow was made from the red ripe tomatoes grown in the garden outside the kitchen window. And the butter on the cornbread at lunch had been churned from fresh cream earlier in the day.
Everything Granny cooked was delicious, but my favorite dish was her chicken and dumplings.
Granny’s chicken and dumplings
The base of the dish was a chicken stock, made by boiling chicken parts in water seasoned with salt and pepper. Sometimes she would add butter to the water if she felt there wasn’t enough fat on the chicken. When the chicken was tender, she would remove it from the pot, de-bone it and set it aside to add back to the pot later.
Her dumpling recipe was a simple one. She would put flour in a bowl, leaving a hole in the bottom of the flour for milk, salt and pepper. Then she would mix it together until it formed a round ball.
When I was very young, I would stand on a step-stool in her kitchen to watch her roll the dough into a flat sheet, and then cut the dough into strips. She would then pinch off pieces of the strips of dough, dropping them into the pot of boiling chicken stock. Finally, she would add the de-boned chicken back into the pot and let it cook until the liquid stock had thickened.
Granny’s chicken and dumplings will always be my favorite food!
The Armstrong family farm
About 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History
For the third year, Amy Coffin of the We Tree Genealogy Blog has created 52 weeks of prompts for genealogy bloggers. The theme for 2011 is 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History. These are shared on the Geneabloggers.com web site, hosted by Thomas MacEntee.
Week 5: Favorite Food. What was your favorite food from childhood? If it was homemade, who made it? What was in this dish, and why was it your favorite? What is your favorite dish now?